Bad weather hits lamb finishing

Poor summer weather could have an impact on lamb production according to Welsh meat bosses.

According to HCC - Meat Promotion Wales 18,000 fewer lambs went through Welsh auction markets this July compared to last year. Figures from May to mid-August also showed that around 30,000 (10%) fewer lambs for the same period in 2011 were handled by Welsh auction markets.

However, according to Hybu Cig Cymru, the number of breeding ewes has remained relatively constant and the organisation expects lamb numbers to be the same as they were this time last year.

HCC’s industry information officer John Richards said: “Poor weather conditions over recent months have seriously checked the progress they have made. This has resulted in a decrease of finished – or fattened - lambs in June and July as producers have struggled with the weather conditions.”

The change in slaughtering patterns, Richards added, could mean there will be an increase in finished lambs in the last three months of the year “compared with the normal situation”. An increase in slaughterings is also likely to carry over into early 2013, he said.

Richards said: “With supplies tight as a result of difficult finishing conditions and increased demand, both at home and abroad, market prices for Welsh Lamb have broadly increased in recent weeks, which would go against historic trends.”

Related news:

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>QSM beef and lamb in international news

>NFUS urges supermarkets to support British lamb


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